An Open Internet is the Goal of Both Our US Delegation at ITU and the FCC

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an arm of the United Nations and is dedicated to global coordination of things like satellite orbital slots, terrestrial spectrum use, and technical standards for interoperability of telecom networks.  Currently the ITU is in the midst of a weeks-long meeting in Busan, South Korea. Already, the former Deputy Secretary…

Goethe’s Ghost: A Few German Publishers Claim Online Services Have No Choice But to Show a Short Extract… And Pay For It

Can you infringe someone’s right by not infringing it? According to some German press publishers, this is precisely the case after Google’s announcement that it will no longer display snippets and thumbnails from content owned by publishers who are represented by VG Media, a collecting society. This follows the introduction of the Leistungsschutzrecht by the…

Online Retailers Could Be Hobbled in Lame Duck

In July, we warned against the short-sighted folly of conflating the issues of the Internet access tax moratorium and online sales tax collection, characterizing the then newly introduced Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (S. 2609) as an exercise in legislative hostage taking. Unfortunately last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressed (in both…

FTC Speaks On Cybersecurity, How Data Security Policy Should Be Handled

Last week, as the keynote speaker at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ event about the role of independent agencies in cybersecurity, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill discussed the FTC’s current efforts to enforce sound cyber and data security practices in the commercial sector, and the challenges the Commission faces as data-driven apps and technologies…

A British Recipe for Open Internet Access: Separation of Monopoly Local Networks… and Competition for Bloody Everything Else

UK regulators at Ofcom decided about a decade ago to impose “functional separation” on its dominant telecom provider, BT, in order to obtain equivalent prices, terms and conditions for competing telephone Internet providers that must buy local connectivity from the legacy giant. The UK model for competition has Openreach as the source for wholesale local…